Monday, 28 May 2012

Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling in the Ivory Tower: …

Using a Case Study to Gain New Understandings of Old Gender Issues

an article by Niki Murray, Marianne Tremaine and Susan Fountaine (Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand) published in Advances in Developing Human Resources Volume 14 Number 2 (May 2012)


The Problem
Universities are patriarchal institutions. More males reach upper levels of the academic hierarchy than females. The authors were concerned that their university had a marginally lower percentage of female professors than others in their country and used a survey and interviews to explore the facts behind the figures.
The Solution
Statistics showed that though fewer females applied for promotion, proportionately more female applicants were successful. The authors researched what helped female professors and associate professors gain promotion and explored views on the spillover between work and family/community roles. Promotion enhancement factors included encouragement from department heads and senior colleagues. Family/community roles were seen to spillover positively to work, though work could negatively affect time for family and community involvement.
The Stakeholders
These findings could encourage proactive mentoring of female academic staff by managers, and increase HR and HRD support for family-friendly policies and training programs.

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